Alphabetical Index of First Second

Science Comics: Sharks: Nature’s Perfect Hunter

The latest in the outstanding line of Science Comics, non-fiction graphic novels for kids about technology and our natural world, is Joe Flood’s Sharks: Nature’s Perfect Hunter. Unlike other animal books in the line, such as Dogs or Bats, this volume doesn’t have a bridging story or a cute narrator example of the species. That wouldn’t be appropriate for the subject. Instead, this is a straightforward presentation of the various types of sharks, their biology (including their jaws, of course), […]

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Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths

Graham Annable’s distinctive, googly-eyed style is a wonderful match for this odd, adorable fable about two friends, Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths. Ernesto wants to leave their comfortable tree home to “see ALL of the sky!” while Peter enjoys staying put, looking at clouds and enjoying hibiscus. He’s content, as a sloth usually is, but Ernesto likes travel. Peter fears the dangers, but Ernesto vows to return from his adventure. It’s great seeing two such good friends […]

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Star Scouts

Avani doesn’t get along with the other girls in the Flower Scouts troop in her new neighborhood. They only want to talk about boys and makeup, while she’s interested in rodeo, which means they put her down with country wisecracks. Then Avani is abducted by a Zirdonian Star Scout named Mabel who is trying to finish her collection badge by teleporting an alien. The Star Scouts “learn how to fly ships, build robots, survive on the wild worlds…” which makes […]

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Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

There’s been quite the trend lately in collections of short write-ups of women in history you may not have heard of, so I didn’t have high expectations for Pénélope Bagieu’s Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World. I should have had more faith — I found myself surprised and enlightened by how many of these women I hadn’t heard of, and the amazing things they did. (First Second has previously translated Bagieu’s fiction graphic novel Exquisite Corpse and her fictionalized […]

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Star Scouts: The League of Lasers

I enjoyed Mike Lawrence’s Star Scouts when it came out last year, so I was thrilled to see that there’s a sequel. Star Scouts: The League of Lasers opens by reminding us of Avani and her interstellar friends. She’s been invited to join the League of Lasers, an elite club for star scouts. While on a try-out mission for membership, Avani gets to put all her scout skills into practice when her smart-aleck spaceship crash lands. Those skills include patience […]

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Science Comics: Robots and Drones: Past, Present, and Future

The Science Comics series of non-fiction educational graphic novels is usually outstanding, but I found Robots and Drones: Past, Present, and Future (written by Mairghread Scott (Transformers) and illustrated by Jacob Chabot (SpongeBob Comics)) a rare misfire for the line. Perhaps it’s a reflection of my relative lack of interest in the topic, but I didn’t find this installment as entertaining, informative, or frankly, good as many of the others. It’s narrated by Pouli, a mechanical bird and “the first […]

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New Shoes

Many comic artists have moved into creating children’s books, including Ivan Brunetti, Kate Beaton, and Andy Runton. There’s not that much difference between the two formats, mostly a matter of whether the words appear in balloons or as captions. Children’s books tend to be shorter and focus on the images. Sara Varon has also put out children’s books, which isn’t surprising, since her style is so welcoming and she tends to draw humanoid animals or ambulatory treats. Her newest book, […]

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Science Comics: Plagues: The Microscopic Battlefield

The most recent Science Comics entry in the First Second line of excellently readable educational graphic novels is Plagues: The Microscopic Battlefield by Falynn Koch (who also wrote and drew the Bats volume). It uses the framework of scientists working within a computer simulation to personalize various cells, germs, and processes when the human body gets infected, including Yellow Fever, Bubonic Plague, and a white blood T-Cell. Scientists are trying to enlist harmful germs in attempts to develop new vaccines. […]

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